Guidelines for Visitors and Designated Support Persons

(Updated March 8, 2022)

GENERAL VISITORS ARE NOT ALLOWED in any of our hospitals and health care facilities.  

Exceptions are in place for patients who are eligible for a designated support person.  Visits by designated support persons are temporarily suspended on many units due to potentiel exposures to the COVID-19 virus.  Read the complete list


VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS (do not apply to patients)

Designated support persons (DSPs) must be fully vaccinated to visit an admitted patient or to accompany an outpatient, even after the provincial public health measures and mandatory order are lifted on Monday, March 14, 2022. They will be asked to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination along with government-issued ID to screeners upon entering any Vitalité Health Network hospital or health care facility. These measures are necessary for the safety of our vulnerable patients as well as our employees, physicians, and volunteers. 

Eligible patients will be asked to identify a fully vaccinated DSP. If this is not possible, an unvaccinated DSP will be allowed to visit, under exceptional circumstances, if they meet the following COVID-19 testing requirements:

  • Show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of the visit.
  • Get tested on days 5 and 10 if visits continue, and present evidence of negative test results.
  • Get tested twice a week if visits continue after day 10 and present evidence of negative test results.
  • Not have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Practise proper hand hygiene, wear a mask, limit movement inside the hospital, agree to go only to the patient's room, respect physical distancing (2 metres), and limit interactions with staff, other patients and visitors.
     
  • For Emergency Department or Ambulatory Care visits
    • Only one DSP is allowed for patients requiring physical or emotional support, decision-making or communication assistance. This person must be fully vaccinated.
    • If the DSP is not fully vaccinated, the COVID-19 testing requirements listed above apply. Exceptions can be made for the DSP accompanying pediatric patients, patients with special needs and for Emergency Department visits.
  • DSPs from outside (or who travelled outside) of Canada may visit a patient on the following conditions:
    • They have been fully vaccinated (two doses) for at least 14 days;
    • They do not have any COVID-19 symptoms;
    • They show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to the visit;
    • They agree to take a screening test on day 5 and show proof of a negative result if visits continue.

Only exceptions for compassionate reasons are permitted for DSPs who are not fully vaccinated and who are from outside of Canada. The following conditions must be met:

  • ​Visits must be coordinated with the nursing unit;
  • The DSP must not have any COVID-19 symptoms;
  • The DSP must present proof of a negative test taken within 72 hours prior to the visit and get tested on days 5 and 10 if visits continue;
  • Anyone entering New Brunswick from outside of Canada should consult the section International travel restrictions on the province’s website (click here).

To make an appointment for a COVID-19 screening test, contact Tele-Care at 811 or submit an online request.


Exceptions for DSPs

The Network recognizes how important it is for certain patients to have a loved at their side, and a DSP is allowed to attend on a flexible schedule.

A DSP can be essential to a patient’s wellness. They can support the patient in different ways. They can, for example:

  • Help them make decisions;
  • Provide physical or emotional support;
  • Help them eat, wash or communicate.


Patients who may have a DSP:

The allowed number of non-vaccinated DSPs is limited.

Patients in pediatrics / pediatric psychiatry, neonatology, obstetrics (labour, delivery and post-partum), and intensive / critical care

  • One DSP at a time.

Patients receiving palliative / end-of-life care

  • One DSP at a time from a list of 10 people. The hospital must be provided with the list of people beforehand.
  • One spiritual care advisor may also be present to provide comfort.
  • If a DSP needs assistance, two DSPs are allowed at the same time.
  • Two DSPs are allowed at the same time when the patient is at the end of life.

Patients receiving medical assistance in dying

  • One DSP at a time from a list of 10 people prior to the procedure. The hospital must be provided with the list of people beforehand.
  • During the procedure:
    • Two DSPs at the same time;
    • One spiritual care advisor may also be present to provide comfort.

Patients hospitalized for 14 or more days

  • One DSP at a time.

Patients with cognitive / communication impairments (cognitive impairment leading to agitation and inability to console; communication impairment which affects care)

  • One DSP at a time.

Patients in Emergency and ambulatory services

  • One DSP only for patients needing physical or emotional support or needing help making decisions or communicating. 
  • One DSP only for pediatric patients.
  • Pregnant women who have an appointment for an ultrasound exam may be accompanied by one DSP.

DSPs have an important role to play in protecting the health and safety of patients and staff.

  • They must not come to the hospital if they have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • They must wash their hands often and correctly.
  • They must wear the mask supplied by the Network correctly (with their mouth and nose covered) at all times during their visit.
  • They must comply with physical distancing wherever possible.
  • They must limit their interactions with staff and other visitors.
  • They must leave the patient’s room when staff are performing procedures.

Staff may at any time limit the number of visitors or the length of visits.

Situations may arise where a DSP is not allowed to be present. In such cases, staff will inform the patient about the options.

Consult the Guide for Designated Support Persons During the Pandemic for further information.

In some cases, physical distancing does not allow a DSP to be present. In such cases, staff will inform the patient and their DSP about the options.

Pets are not allowed. 

 

If you have questions about these directives, please contact the Quality and Patient Safety Department at 1-877-286-1311.